Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Evolution of a Bracelet Design - Pt II

By this time, I was completely addicted to these charming little bracelets. They're fun to make, lovely to handle, and the fluffy factor is just divine. But I was running out of cable chain!!! I needed to go through my bead stash!!

I sacrificed a rather old and well-loved multi-strand necklace made long ago in my early jewelry making days. Yes, it was a bit of a wrench letting go, but the one necklace ultimately contributed to the next 3 bracelets I have to show you. The first was this very steampunk version of the chain fringe bracelet, which really played on mixing up those metals:

A second, similar one contained just a hint of blue, but kept to the neutral, metallic color palette for most of the bracelet. Little brass bells, large twisted jump rings, and the many different colors of metals used in the bracelet give this a really wonderful texture:

And here, a much brighter gold one showcases some blue czech glass pearls. This one strikes me as being slightly more decadent-feeling, perhaps because of the uniform beads and the rich gold tones:

Still more to come ... keep an eye out for Part III...

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Evolution of a Bracelet Design Part I

There's a fad that's been building over the last couple of seasons in jewelry - a sort of "messy chain" fad. Usually several strands of fine, tangled cable chain are involved - I'm sure you've seen the type of thing I'm talking about. The fringe-y look of layer upon layer of chain, not always matching chain, is kind of eye-catching.

As many of you know, I'm a HUGE fan of chain jewelry. I love the weight and sound of the metal, the texture of it. I recently learned how to do Helm Chain - here's an example of a plain Helm Chain bracelet:

Naturally, it wasn't long before it occurred to me that those small jump rings would provide great little spots to hang dangly beaded stuff. After all, what good is chain maille if you can't hang dangly beaded stuff off of it occasionally?

Well, the very next bracelet to come out of this thought was what I'm calling my "Bacchus Bracelet" - guess why?

Now this brought me to a bead hunt; I needed to do something pretty fabulous with the next bracelet. Various shapes of Montana Blue Swarovskis and some bright faux pearls were a great start, but I wanted to see something more going on in there. Finally, the idea struck me to add tiny bits of chain to each dangle. What a difference!

The next one was made with peridot colored crystals, but I thought it seemed a little too brightly white:

So I used a hard-boiled egg to add a patina to the silver. This worked to a certain extent; much of the silver plated stuff in there aged, but the chain must have been made of stainless steel, because it managed to stay a bright white after the aging process:

Of course, I was amazed at the depth of detail now visible around the metalwork!

Of course, I wasn't done yet! Stay tuned for Part II.....